tv Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly NBC July 16, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
welcome to sunday night. i'm megyn kelly. how many of you here have experienced sexual harassment? they're high-powered women in the shiny world of tech. but they're dealing with something dark. >> his body was pushing up against me. >> he backed me into a corner. >> all of a sudden his hand is on my inner thigh. >> what are you thinking in that moment? got to get out of here. >> sexual harassment in silicon valley. meet the women standing up. and speaking out on camera together for the first time on television. >> i don't say something, who will? also, the russian plot thickens. >> like his father, he wants to win. nbc's katy tur takes us inside the latest revelations.
collusion or confusion? >> it was it was a very frustrating, unorganized and unorthodox operation >> that's clearly a trap. you're clearly setting someone up so that you can determine whether they bite. >> plus, how about a dose of inspiration? >> what were your chances for success in this world? >> for success, there was none. >> kate snow with the miracle named michaela deprince. born in a war zone. orphaned at 3. >> i felt very much alone. i really wanted the die. >> then a picture gave her hope. now, she's on posters. working with beyonce. and soaring across the stages of the world. >> the only way i could survive was to prove everybody wrong. >> all that and more coming up on "sunday night." silicon valley. the home of high-tech and big money. but if you're a woman, not so fast. a sexual harassment scandal is rocking the tech industry. now women there, in unprecedented numbers, are publicly saying they've had enough.
you're about to hear from some of them on camera together for the very first time. >> he sat so close to me that his entire side of his body was pushing up against me and starts leaning in. >> i said, "no." i said, "no," multiple times. he still came on to me, right? >> the women of silicon valley have had it up to here with being groped, ogled and propositioned by men who see them as conquests instead of colleagues. >> how many of you here have experienced what you consider to be sexual harassment? how many chose not to report it or to complain? how many feared retaliation if they did complain? >> stunningly, in just the last month, after years of experiencing this anything goes culture the women are fighting back. powerful male executives forced
out as multiple women come forward to complain about sexual harassment. including on camera together for the first time our six entrepreneurs, some established, some just starting out. >> is it scary being here today? >> yes. >> every single woman i know in silicon valley had a story. >> kara swisher is the journalist just about everyone in silicon valley speaks to. she's the executive editor of the news site recode, funded in part by nbc. she says the tech industry, which prides itself on doing things that are new, progressive, better has a side straight out of "mad men." >> i know they'd be happy to meet you. >> especially dan higgens. he loves the red heads. >> it's been an open secret for years. they call it "bro culture." >> what is bro culture? >> it's exactly what it sounds like. it sounds like a fraternity. it sounds like, you know, idiotic, juvenile behavior and that's all part of it. we're just boys having fun and being toxic at the same time. >> our group described bad behavior many women may find
familiar. >> sexual innuendo, inappropriate jokes, leering. >> even asking for the meeting after 5:00 p.m. to have drinks. >> a compliment about your body that's a little -- off? >> sometimes it's a tone. >> last year a survey found 60% of women in tech had suffered unwanted sexual advances, most involving a male superior. they work in a culture where deals often get done over drinks, not desks, and where many turn a blind eye to sexual harassment. >> workplace setting is a lot of times coffee shops or bars or hotel lobbies. it's not necessarily always, you know, in an office where h.r. is present and people are working. >> when i had the first really bad situation, i was shaken up. i was upset. and i told a few people in the industry. and a lot of them said, "well, what do you expect? you know, you went out -- for a coffee meeting with a guy who had said that he might invest in your company, and of course these sorts of things are going
to happen." >> no one cared? >> yeah. it was just kind of like -- "yeah, that happens." >> suck it up. >> yeah. >> most women do exactly that, especially in the world of venture capital, where an entrepreneur may spend months or even years trying to secure a relationship with a potential investor. and where women who report harassment risk alienating the kings of cash. rachel renock quit her advertising job last year to try her luck as an entrepreneur. >> you don't know how you're going to pay rent. you're living off of ramen. so you kind of take whatever meeting you can get. and then you become very susceptible to that kind of harassment. >> you know that there are even strong women who say, you stop it on the spot. you say, you're being inappropriate. >> you have to be in a tremendous position of power i think to do i mean, even i would never do that. >> in the moment, that is so terrifying. >> speaking out against just one man can have wide-spread repercussions. >> when i would bring it up with other men who had been in the industry longer, often they'd
say, "don't talk about that. you'll get a reputation as someone who's just whining. who can't cut it. >> you're making a choice at this point where you now are jeopardizing yourself where he can then go say whatever he wants about you. her business sucks. she has a bad idea. >> you have to find a clever way out of the situation without alienating this guy. >> you can walk away. i mean, and you can do it in a major dramatic fashion. but you are definitely putting your business at risk. >> many women choose to get out of tech. they leave the industry at twice the rate men do. those who stay find ways of coping. >> how have you chosen to dress in silicon valley? >> as gay as possible. >> what does that mean? >> i'm an out and open lesbian. when i started out i felt i needed to be more feminine. and i know you had the opposite experience where she was trying to tone it down. >> how did you tone it down? >> i chopped off my hair, and so i had really short hair. and i was wearing -- i would
wear converse to meetings. you know? and -- and i was -- >> why? what were you trying to project? >> i think i was trying to be actually more androgynous. of course, like, i wasn't duping anybody. right? people knew that i was a woman. >> surprise. >> yeah. yeah. like, okay, guys. >> ask a woman who's been harassed what she felt in the moment and you might hear words like panic, shock and even shame. for many of these women, it's also the death of a dream. >> to walk into a pitch or a room just to get hit on is devastating to a certain extent. and to experience that over and over and over again can really take a toll, an emotional toll. >> that's just the way it was until february when an engineer named susan fowler penned an incendiary blog post methodically recounting the harassment she dealt with at uber including her manager proposing sex on her very first day in his group. >> how big an impact did susan fowler have? >> big.
>> huge. >> huge. >> she was not emotional. i know it sounds crazy. but she just laid this story out. she talked not just about the sexual harassment but the culture at large. and therefore, it wasn't just, "hey, someone touched my butt." like, "oh, no. i'm such a delicate flower. i can't handle that." >> and then when she complained the response was, "well, if you stay in his group, you're going to get a negative review. >> right. >> and you deserve it because you stayed. >> right. >> uber immediately condemned that behavior. months later, amidst this and other controversies, the ceo resigned. and then suddenly in just the past three weeks, other women began coming forward. naming the misdeeds. and in some cases naming the men. lindsay meyer and cheryl yeoh each say they were targeted by well connected married men, alleging groping or unwanted kissing. >> so i met justin because i was raising money for my company. >> lindsay had been working for more than a year to start a fitness business when she met
venture capitalist justin caldbeck in 2015, first at his office, then at a bar. >> he wants to sit at a table. and so we start with a normal distance in between us. and, you know, over the course of the first 15 or 20 minutes, that distance continues to close until all of a sudden his hand is in my inner thigh. and he's holding my hand, and he's touching me. >> what are you thinking in that moment? >> got to get out of here. >> do you remove the hand? >> absolutely. >> she didn't want an intimate relationship with caldbeck, but she did want his help. they stayed in touch for two more years. sometimes he reached out to her sometimes she reached out to him. >> it's thousands of messages. hundreds of e-mails. you know, lots and lots and lots of phone calls. voice messages. >> now, if i were to see your responses to those texts and e-mails, would you be proud of them?
>> it's a good question. i felt like because he was an investor i sometimes needed to go along with his overtures and his advances. and so, i probably wouldn't be the most proud about all of them. >> justin caldbeck declined to comment to us. but last month, facing accusations from several women, he resigned from his firm and issued a general apology, never confirming lindsay's specific account. he says he's seeking therapy. unlike lindsay, cheryl yeoh was established at the time she says she was harassed. living in malaysia in 2014, she was running a company that worked with silicon valley investors. after a business meeting, cheryl had friends over one night for drinks. when everyone else left her apartment, this man stayed, a well-known tech investor. his name? dave mcclure. >> he backed me into a corner. he leaned forward and kissed me. like, somewhere on my cheek. and i was quite shocked.
i didn't know what to do. i pushed him away. and i kept saying, "no." and he kept coming at me again. and he said something like, "just just one time, just -- you know, can we just do it one time?" so my heart was beating. and i yanked the door open and sort of i did shove him out. >> what's going through your head? >> i felt fooled. at the same time i couldn't be upset with him. because i had to preserve our relationship as we were supposed to sign a contract that week. >> to people who might look at this story and say, "she let him into her apartment, saw him get drunk, saw him trying to get her drunk. and set herself up for a confrontation. how do you respond? >> well, it still doesn't make it right. i mean, i did all the right things, i feel. >> when you hear me ask that question, i -- devil's advocate,
how does it make you feel? >> it's infuriating because as a culture we blame women for men's misbehavior. he went to that apartment. he got drunk. he made those advances. he should take responsibility for himself. >> dave mcclure resigned amid multiple allegations of harassment. he did not respond to our request for a comment, but he has apologized and admitted he behaved like quote a creep. he, too, is seeking therapy. >> until finally i couldn't just sit with it anymore. >> women coming forward can inspire others to do the same. we saw it happen right here. after we thought our interview was over one woman decided to share an encounter she has never discussed publicly until now. her story, next. tes. you have type 2 diabetes, right? yes. so let me ask you this... how does diabetes affect your heart? it doesn't, does it? actually, it does. type 2 diabetes can make you twice as likely to die from a cardiovascular event, like a heart attack or stroke. and with heart disease,
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sexual harassment is a painful reality for many women, including those in the tech industry. and it is very difficult for women to come forward. but one of the women you've met tonight is about to share a story she never has before. working in silicon valley as a woman is? >> frustrating. >> complicated. >> exhausting. >> every woman in our group says she's been sexually harassed. talking about it publicly for the first time is not easy. but women are finding the courage. we saw that play out before our very eyes.
leaning in. eagerly listening. and afterwards, as we all chatted, kathryn minshew told us she had more to say. a story she's never told publicly. she agreed to sit back down with us and try to make sense of what happened to her four years ago. >> we walked into the apartment. and it's funny because the next, like, ten minutes or so that we were up there were so stressful that there's things about it that i'm, like, trying to remember the order of what happened. >> like the other women, kathryn built her company, the muse, from nothing. >> and i love it. this dream that we sat around a kitchen table, you know, five and a half years ago and thought of into a reality. >> she met an investor in 2012 at a conference. he asked how much capital she'd raised. >> and i said, "$100,000." and he said, "great, count me in for $100,000 as well." >> a year later as her business
was low on cash, he offered to invest ten times that amount. $1 million. >> and he's like, "let's meet up later tonight and we'll kind of game plan the whole thing." and i feel so naïve now. i showed up to the meeting with blank paper and pens for the brainstorming we were going to do. and he's like, "let's go to this empty corporate apartment. nobody uses it. it's quiet. and it was -- >> at this point, did any bells go off of, we're alone, he's asking me back to the corporate apartment? >> you know. >> alert? >> yeah. i think there's always -- you know, as a woman operating in business, i always have this radar that's like, "is this is a good idea? is this right?" >> but she'd already met his wife, he had met her boyfriend, and she was excited at the prospect of his help. and then? >> he poured two glasses of bourbon. big, really big glasses of bourbon. and then he took his hand and he put it on the back of my head and pulled my face into his face.
and all of a sudden, like, all i could think about was, like, "oh my god, this is happening to me right now." and i turned my head really quick so that his lips hit my cheek instead of my face, which is what he was going for. i mean, even telling you now, my whole stomach feels like ice. but i was just thinking, "i have to just get out of this situation." >> kathryn left and managed to find the cash she needed elsewhere. her business is now thriving. so, we asked, was she ready to name the man, now? >> will you go on the record now? >> you could see her wrestling with that step. in the end, kathryn chose not to share the man's name. yet. >> but i found you at an interesting time, because it hasn't come out publicly. and you're wrestling with what to do. and you do have power now, but clearly, there's a fear that, what? that --
>> i think one of them is i have spent probably 80 to 100 hours a week over the last 5 1/2 years building my company and the thought that that could be derailed or overshadowed by some jerk who wants to defend their own inexcusable behavior by trying to drag me into a lawsuit, a he said/she said, you know, if you google me, i want you to find the company that i built, the things that i've done that i'm proud of. i don't want ten articles that say, "kathryn minshew -- you know, was assaulted." that's not what i want to be about. i wish i didn't have to talk about it. but i also feel like if i don't say something, who will? >> kathryn's finding her voice, her nerve. and journalist kara swisher says other women need to find theirs, too. >> so to those 22-year-olds -- >> yeah. >> -- who are starting right in silicon valley, in news, in any male dominated profession -- >> yeah. >> -- who are scared you-know-what-less -- >> yeah, yeah. >> what is your advice?
>> don't be scared. someone's got to, like, speak up. that's a really hard thing for people to do. but if we keep exposing that and saying it, it will have an impact. that's what i believe. >> there's no simple solution to this problem, but some are proposing a basic rule of thumb. if you're in a position of power over another, don't hit on them. period. and if you're a woman facing sexual harassment, remember there is safety in numbers. reach out to other women. the odds are you are not alone. coming up -- talk about brave women. we've got another. >> i felt very much alone. >> how one remarkable child rose from an unimaginable nightmare to an impossible dream. >> there is a lot of loss, a lot of pain. it's not a fairytale. plus, jada pinkett smith with the courage to be candid. >> you guys have both been pretty open that it hasn't all been smooth sailing. >> no, it hasn't. >> and you own that. >> yes. and next, we'll take you inside the trump campaign.
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the trumps and russia. that's the story that's dominated washington for months, and certainly this week, with the revelation of a meeting between the president's son, a russian lawyer, and others. each day seems to bring a new development. katy tur has the latest. >> it happened on june 9th of last year. right up there on the 25th floor of trump tower, that meeting. i was standing right below it, right there, covering a campaign that i learned prided itself on defying the rules. tonight, people with first-hand knowledge of this unconventional campaign, of russian spycraft and of the trumps, take us inside, and tell us why that
meeting might have happened at all, and why the russians might have wanted it to. in attendance at the now infamous meeting were donald trump's son, donald junior, his son-in-law jared kushner, and campaign manager paul manafort. they were meeting with a russian lawyer who, don junior had been told by e-mail, was coming to present damaging information about hillary clinton. donald trump jr. said he was interested in getting information from the russian government. should that have raised a red flag? >> for an experienced campaign operative? yeah, it should have raised a red flag. for a family member, for a first time candidate for president of the united states in a whirlwind like we were in, i'm not surprised. >> michael caputo had a front row seat to donald trump's presidential effort. the veteran political operative has been an associate of trump's for decades and was brought in to help instill discipline on the campaign. >> there was no campaign structure in 2016, in june of 2016. it was it was a very frustrating, unorganized and
unorthodox operation where you couldn't get things approved. >> were there any no-nos? any red lines? anything you were not supposed to do? >> there wasn't a handbook. there weren't instructions on a blackboard. people operated with their own ethics and rules of the road. >> was it unusual to have unplanned meetings with unnamed people? >> oh no. that was de rigueur. absolutely. the place was pell-mell. >> caputo describes don junior as a loyal son who, like his siblings, had gradually taken a bigger role in his father's campaign. >> no question in my mind that the dysfunction led the kids to get more deeply involved. >> which could explain don junior's enthusiastic reaction when he received that e-mail offering dirt on hillary clinton. he was all in, responding, "if it's what you say, i love it." >> do you think this is evidence of collusion? >> no, i don't. donald junior made a mistake and he'd do it entirely differently
if he had an opportunity. >> you say he made a mistake. but does it not show that he was open to the idea of coordinating with russia to get dirt on hillary clinton? >> i don't know about that. i do know that it shows that -- >> he said, "i love it." >> i get that. i get that. but i think it shows more the naiveté of his first experience in a political campaign. >> journalist and biographer tim o'brien doesn't buy that. a longtime trump critic he finds the meeting easy to explain. he says it proves don junior doesn't fall far from his father's tree. >> he's as injudicious and as reckless as his father. donald trump sr. had a long career in which he bent and sometimes broke business rules. and i think you see a lot of donald trump sr. reflected in the children, particularly in donald trump jr. >> o'brien says the chaos of the campaign is only one factor in don junior's decision to take that meeting, character counts,
too. >> i think like his father he wants to win. and i think ethics and right and wrong can frequently take a backseat to that question. >> do you think he wanted to be the opposition research guy, to be the guy who had this silver bullet that would knock out his dad's opponent? >> i suspect knowing what i know about him is he relished that role. i think he's like that as a person. you know, he's aggressive and enthusiastic when it comes to joining the battle. >> o'brien says the meeting highlights another characteristic of the trumps. some of the odd and questionable relationships they cultivate. british publicist rob goldstone was one of them. it was goldstone who first approached don junior about the meeting and said the dirt about hillary clinton was being offered by another trump family friend, russian pop singer emin agalarov. emin's father, aras, is a russian oligarch close to the kremilin. here he is at donald trump's miss universe pageant in moscow
where trump also joined a celebration for aras's birthday. when don junior responded to the offer of information on hillary clinton, that's just what the russians wanted, according to some intelligence professionals we spoke to. >> in our world that's clearly a trap. you're clearly setting someone up so that you can determine whether they bite. >> john sipher is a 28-year cia veteran, a former station chief who was once posted to moscow. he says the russian intelligence services might have been exploiting information they already had about the trumps. >> they probably had a good sense that donald trump junior was someone that might be willing to play ball or might be willing to sort of cross a line. >> and that offer of dirt on hillary clinton was tempting bait. >> if i send you something that blatant and you bite then i have a lot of information on what i might be able to use next time. i know that if you're willing to step over the line i can then push a little further. >> is this russian lawyer a dangle? we've heard that term tossed around a lot.
>> very likely. now, personally i think she's probably tied to the kremlin and she probably was co-opted and witting of what she was doing. but this is like human fishing. they're putting bait out there to see if you're willing to swallow it. and trump campaign team swallowed it whole. >> adding to the theory that this was an intelligence operation, is the fact that rinat akhmetshin, believed to be a former soviet counterintelligence officer, was also in the meeting. but in her first-ever tv interview with nbc's keir simmons last week, the russian lawyer, natalia veselnitskaya, said she had no connection to the kremlin and that the meeting was a waste of time. >> translator: if i had to use one word to describe the meetling, i'd say i felt disapointed. >> donald junior said the meeting was a bust, too. but it might not have been for russia's president. >> what potentially did putin learn about don junior if he didn't get anything from it? >> he learned that mr. trump is
willing to compromise himself to make a choice that puts him in an awkward and potentially vulnerable state. >> the president himself denies knowing about the meeting. but last june, just days after the e-mail exchange setting it up, he alluded to big revelations to come. >> we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the clintons. i think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting. >> many find the timing suspicious. three days after that tease, wikileaks announced it had e-mails related to hillary clinton. e-mails that us intelligence says were at the heart of putin's effort to help trump. >> was this a coincidence of timing? >> absolutely a coincidence in timing. it's got -- >> why are you so confident? >> because i know donald trump. i know him well. the donald trump campaign had nothing to do with russia. there was no collusion. do you think that place was organized enough to collude with the lunch counter across the
street? it just wasn't. it just wasn't. and yet, they won. >> congratulations, mr. president. >> he may have won but congressional committees and a special counsel will ultimately decide if caputo is right about donald trump and the russians. >> there will be more on the russia investigation tomorrow. on "today." coming up -- ballet and beyonce. >> she's sitting kind of close to beyonce but it's not a big deal, not a big deal, no not at all. >> from orphan in africa. to acclaim around the world. >> i didn't think i would have anything good in my life at all. >> the miraculous journey of michaela deprince. e nerves.
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you've heard some incredible stories of survival and resilience. but you've never heard one like this. it begins in a war zone, one of the worst places you can imagine. and it ends in thunderous applause on a stage. it's the story of a young woman named michaela deprince and how she beat the staggering odds against her.
here's kate snow. >> when you think back, what were your chances for success in this world? >> for success, there was none. absolutely none. the only way i could survive was to prove everybody wrong. >> over and over and over. >> and again over again. >> and that's just -- >> it helps -- it helps me to continue to fight. >> to be honest, it's unbelievable that she's even alive today, let alone plastered on posters, collaborating with beyonce, and performing on the world stage. >> we've traveled to amsterdam where michaela deprince is a star ballerina with the dutch national ballet. but the stories that play out up on stage, as melodramatic as they might be, can't even come close to michaela's own miraculous journey of perseverance, dedication and survival. >> michaela's story starts here in the impoverished african country of sierra leone.
she was born in 1995, named mabinty bangura, in the midst of a civil war that killed thousands. her father was killed by rebels, and her mother died soon after from disease and starvation. >> i can't remember what my biological parents looked like. i can't really remember any happy moments. >> 3-year-old mabinty was abandoned at an orphanage where she was treated like a pariah. >> the women at the orphanage, they called you -- >> the devil's child. they kept saying, "why would somebody want to adopt the devil's child?" >> so they saw the pigmentation and they thought that it was evil? >> yeah, definitely. >> mabinty was born with the skin condition vitiligo. what she called her spots were the reason the adults in the orphanage thought she was cursed. >> so they ranked us, like, number one was the favorite child and number 27 was the least favorite. i was number 27. >> number one gets the first dibs at food? >> yeah. first dibs at food. first choice of clothes. >> what did number 27 end up with?
>> pretty much rags. >> she had only one friend at the orphanage, number 26, also named mabinty. she was way down in the pecking order simply because she was left-handed and wet the bed. >> so you were tight. >> yeah, we were, like, tighter -- >> you're like sisters. >> -- than peanut butter, like jelly, it was like, yeah. >> then one fateful day, number 27 made a random discovery that would change her life. >> a gust of wind blew a magazine up against the gate outside the orphanage and she found it. this is a copy of that magazine, and this image of a ballerina on the cover gave a desperately sad orphan something she'd never had before. >> i needed this to come into my life at the time that it did come. and i needed to find something to give me hope. >> she had never seen anything like it. a white woman in strange clothes standing on her toes. number 27 showed it to a beloved teacher. >> she explained to me she was a ballerina, dancing ballet.
and that's what i wanted to be. a ballerina. and it was not just the fact that she's a ballerina. it's that she looks happy. and i wanted to be happy. >> but that hope was smashed by unimaginable horror. she was about to endure something so tragic that the memory is still scalding. outside the orphanage, rebels attacked that favorite teacher of hers. >> she was pregnant. and they cut her stomach open because they had a bet. they wanted to know if it was a girl or boy. and so, they decided to find out. >> when mabinty tried to help her teacher, a rebel boy turned on her, slicing her stomach with a machete. she was spared only because a night watchman at the orphanage begged for her life. >> when i got stabbed, i was really hoping -- i felt very much alone.
i really wanted to die. i didn't see the point. i didn't think i would have anything good in my life at all. >> her tears, her pain would only deepen, even as americans were coming to adopt the orphans. her best friend, number 26, was one of the lucky ones, chosen by a family who sent a book of photos. but no one was coming for number 27. >> everybody else, you know, they all had family books and -- i'm sorry. >> and there was no book for you? >> no. >> number 26 got a book. and from what i understand, you would look at her book. >> you knew you wanted to adopt. >> this is the woman who sent that book of photos. elaine deprince was looking to fill her own void, an equally
unimaginable one. elaine and her husband charles had adopted before, three american boys. tragically, they all would die of aids from contaminated blood. after the first two deaths, elaine was heartbroken, but she wasn't going to let that stop her from living and loving. >> i decided to adopt one child from a war-torn country in africa because my son michael loved africa. >> that orphan was number 26. >> and then i got a call from the adoption agency and they asked, "which mabinty are you adopting?" they said, "we have two of them." >> the orphanage told elaine that 12 families had refused to take the other mabinty, number 27, because of her vitiligo. >> i said, "well, we'll take her." >> just like that? >> just like that. i said, "we'll take her." i said, "i really don't have a problem with spots, after dealing with aids." >> when elaine arrived in africa to adopt both 4-year-olds, she
was the one who broke the unexpectedly good news to number 27. >> she was standing there with her arms folded really angry. i think she just thought there was going to be more rejection ahead of her. >> then she takes our hands and she says, "i'm your new mama." >> because it would be hard to have two mabintys, elaine re-named both girls after her son michael, the one who loved africa. number 26 became mia mabinty deprince and number 27, michaela mabinty deprince. one of the first things michaela did was show her new mom that treasured magazine cover. >> i couldn't believe that i had adopted an orphan from africa who wanted pointe shoes. >> she wanted to be a ballerina. >> i had to promise her she would dance. >> but first, the sisters started their new adventure in cherry hill, new jersey, where everything was a wide-eyed revelation. >> i mean, i had never seen so
much food before. and i didn't understand that you had to really pay for it. so i was just picking things and eating them and -- >> as if it's free. >> yeah, as if it was free. >> before long, michaela's mom made good on her promise. and michaela started ballet. mia, too. well, sort of. >> there were a few times where we were -- i was -- >> in class together -- >> yeah. >> and i -- i'm very serious. and i'm, like -- >> yeah. >> why are you talking? >> yeah. >> it's not time to laugh. >> no. >> it was a serious time. >> she would be -- make those looks. >> like, death looks. >> yeah. >> it's, like -- >> stop talking! >> i don't know, it was, like, we were in a professional company or something, the looks that she was giving me, like she was the director or something. >> even at that young age, michaela was laser-focused on becoming a professional ballerina. but first, she had to get over her insecurities about the way she looked. >> i remember my first show. i was terrified because i thought, "okay, well, if people could see my spots that meant i could not become the ballerina i wanted to be." so i asked my mom like, "can you, like, make sure. like, if you see it, let me know." >> and i said, "no, not really. they looked like pixie dust." and she says, "oh good. now i can be a professional
ballerina." >> but while michaela got more comfortable with her skin condition, she faced other obstacles because of the color of her skin. >> when i was eight years old this teacher said, "you know, we don't put a lot of effort into the black ballerinas because they all end up getting fat and having big boobs." >> did you ever think that she wouldn't be able to make it as a professional ballerina because of her skin color? >> i knew that it would be difficult. but she was just a very determined child. when she got something in her head she went for it. >> michaela had defied long odds before, of course, and soon enough, she was doing it again, breaking through and soaring up the dance ranks. by 17, she was performing with the dance theatre of harlem in new york city. the youngest in the company. >> the following year, she was hired by the prestigious dutch
national ballet in amsterdam at 18, she was supporting herself and living out her unlikely dream. >> so what does it take to become a world-class ballerina? practice, practice, practice. so we're going to watch one. >> i'm known for being one of the highest jumpers. i'm literally flying in the air. and that feeling is incredible. >> get there quicker. >> ballet director ted brandsen not only hired michaela but recently promoted her to soloist. >> this -- pop. yes. >> what are her strengths? >> apart from her really strong physical presence, and her strong technique, it's a really good mind and a will to succeed. >> an inner strength? >> yeah. >> at age 22, she's only one level below the top-ranked ballerinas in the company. ♪ cause a winner don't quit on themselves ♪ >> and last year, she had her brush with superstardom.
beyonce hand-picked michaela to choreograph her own dance solo in the "freedom" music video from "lemonade." >> i was like, "that's michaela, that's michaela" and i started going like this. she's sitting kind of close to beyoncé, but, you know, it's not a big deal. it's not a big deal." right? no, it was not at all. >> michaela is also the new face of jockey's "show 'em what's underneath" campaign. >> there was a time when you asked your mom to look from the audience and let you know if she could see what you called your spots. >> yeah. >> and now here you are, proudly showing it all off. >> yeah. it's real. it's raw. it's showing them who you really are. >> from an orphan with nothing to live for to a young girl with big dreams. and now, a dazzling ballerina. >> hey, pretty girl. >> is there anything that you would want to say to michaela's birth parents, if you could? >> i think i would like her mother to know that she has made something of herself. she saw her child as looked down
upon. this child has risen from that. >> it's not a fairytale. you know, you have to work hard. there is a lot of loss, lot of pain. but, you know, performing, i love it. >> you seem kind of persistent. >> yeah. just a little bit. coming up -- movie star, mom, wife. and that's just for starters. >> you sing, you act, you direct, you produce. you once said it's never enough. >> it's never enough. >> is that still true? >> no. >> tonight, we get the big picture from jada pinkett smith. ♪ ♪ i'm... i'm so in love with you. ♪ ♪ whatever you want to do... ♪ ...is alright with me.
jada pinkett smith has been a movie star for two decades. along with husband will, and kids willow and jaden, she's also part of a hollywood power family. we talk with her about movies, marriage, and more in tonight's q&a. >> we recently caught up with jada in hollywood where she remains an enduring mega star. >> i'm very durable. it takes a lot to take me out. it takes a lot to break me down.
i am kind of teflon in that way. >> so you've married this man that a lot of people know. his name is will smith for those at home who have been living under a rock. you guys have both been pretty open about the fact that it hasn't all been smooth sailing. >> no, it hasn't. >> and you own that. >> yes. >> so for the people out there who are having problems in their own marriage, what do you want them to know? >> i want them to know that that's what marriage is about. it's about work. you think you know the person you're with after 15 years. but that's just not true. i'm learning because he -- we're -- i'm just learning more about myself and so is he. you know what i mean? and so, and that's what this is all about. learning and growing together. >> you guys are a great example, because you're both very successful. but you have kids who have drive. >> yeah. >> how did you do that? >> establishing their sense of self at a very early age. and so, you start to inspire a self-determinism within them. because they feel like they have a voice. they feel like they have a purpose.
i'll never forget jaden was sitting at the table with his dad. and you know, will came in and he was talking about having such a difficult time finding a son for "pursuit of happyness." and jaden out of the blue said, "i'll do it." >> stop it. >> he has to trust his instincts. and the same with willow. ♪ >> willow decided after "whip my hair," "i don't want that." and she decided she wanted something different. she trusted herself and blossomed into the beautiful young teenage girl she is now. >> okay. let's do some quick hits. >> okay, cool. >> someone you admire. >> wow. my mother. >> thing about yourself you'd most like to change. >> i'm working really hard at just becoming more authentic every day. >> favorite movie. >> "girls trip." right now! >> oh no! >> "girl's trip" is her latest movie, a sexy, raucous road trip comedy that hits theatres next week. >> have a good evening, ladies. >> i don't really like watching
any movie i've ever done, and this is one movie i've been able to watch over and over again. >> lover or fighter? >> both. >> good answer. >> i love hard and i fight just as hard. >> you sing. you act. you direct. you produce. you publish. you once said, "it's never enough." >> it's never enough. >> is that still true? >> no. i think because i've learned that having love in my life, my family, if everything stopped right here, i have lived a magnificent life. it's enough. >> back with more in a moment.
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there's a new approach on how to treat alcoholism. that's one of the stories we're working on for next week. >> i had no control over what i was doing. every job i've ever had i've lost because of drinking. >> alcoholism, it affects some 20 million americans. >> how would you characterize the way we're treating alcohol use disorder? >> it's an adam nation. we don't send someone with diabetes to a spa for a month. that's the absurdity of what we're doing now. >> now, some new thinking. craig melvin with a head-turning treatment for alcoholics. >> we're not insisting on abstinence. >> a doctor. a prescription. and yep -- a drink. >> do you still have cravings? >> no. the fact that i feel safe in a room with alcohol in it is astonishing. >> that's coming up next week on sunday night at 7:00/6:00 central. thanks for joining us.
i'm megyn kelly. for all of us at nbc news, goodnight. [music] lars ulrich: the legacy of the bay area is influential to the rest of the world on a level that we should all be fiercely proud of. [music] carlos santana: you have musicians who are changing the structure of musicality. huey lewis: our broth, our gumbo if you will, is a little more diverse and complicated in san francisco.